Examples of work by Painting Academy teachers


Examples of work by Painting Academy teachers

Examples of work by Painting Academy teachers

The historic Telluride train Depot has housed many a business and organization over the years, but it truly came to life when the Ah Haa School for the Arts took up residence there in 2006. This fall will bring a new level of energy and inspiration to the building and to Telluride: Introducing the Painting Academy.

The core value of Ah Haa’s new accredited painting program is to deepen and strengthen the artist’s personal voice. Each block has been designed to guide students through exercises and projects that will help them to develop images and a creative vocabulary to pull from for future work and exploration.

“Finding your voice is the most important thing an artist can do. That is the big idea we are building our program around. Our community naturally supports the adventure as well. Telluride at its best is free, open and supportive,” says Robert Weatherford, founding faculty member.

Although the program does entitle students to college credit it is not exclusive to college students. Many of this semester’s students are local artists looking to paint with greater purpose. These students will help shape the program for future generations of Telluride. Weatherford envisions the painting program following the path of the American Academy of Bookbinding, and gaining prestige and an international reputation among students and instructors.

The Ah Haa School for the Arts accredited-painting program was created to respond to a growing need of deeper exploration of the painting medium expressed by the community. Artists have praised Telluride for years, but have been unable to partake in a full painting academy. Visiting artists have taught many workshops emphasizing techniques, however this program is centered around personal expression.  This type of intensive study brings a constant and consistent creative energy into the Ah Haa School and the entire community.

Block One starts Friday, September 7 and is a one-month intensive in Figure Drawing with instructor Kathy Hirsh.

Kathy’s initial training was as a medical illustrator. Since then she has expanded her vision to a more expressive representation of the human form. Her vast knowledge of the figure and human anatomy will help give students the foundation on which to build. The figure is a classic and traditional place to start a creative journey.

Next, part time local Allyn Hart will be introducing students to printmaking through the process of creating a personal visual vocabulary of images that represent each student’s creative voice. Allyn is a former art professor at the University of Utah.

Block 3 introduces visiting artist Lauren Mantecon. Mantecón, who has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University, University of Portland, and Portland Community College. She will instruct students on how to connect with their individual process and personal narratives to gain greater access to their strengths and limitations within the creative process. By helping them to increase their visual vocabulary of concepts and mixed media techniques, students will gain a clear understanding of color and composition. They will explore historical art and contemporary practices.

The semester will culminate with Robert Weatherford’s “Painting from Within.” Students will be able to pull from all they have learned to convey about their internal landscapes.

In each of these blocks, students will be given encouragement, constructive criticism and technical advice.

This is a four-month intensive program that allows participants to immerse themselves in art without distractions.

Classes are presented in three- and a half- week blocks. Students are welcome to take all four or only selected classes. Space and scholarships are still available.

For more information contact the Ah Haa School for the Arts at 970.728.3886.

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